New Power gives a frame what is happening in the world and how to apply these trends in practice. It’s not about how technology is changing, but how power is changing. How to be more powerful in a way which makes the world a better place to live (not in altruistic way). The main spine of the book is a diagram showing a clash between new and old power. What are the key principles and values of these two doctrines. So to get started, I’d like to provide the aforementioned picture.
Based on the diagram, I can summarise that the old power is about hierarchy, secrecy and control – standard code of conduct in most public institutions and private entities. In contrast, the new power is all about crowd, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and super charged vast collaboration. It doesn’t mean that the new is better than the old, you should rather get to know how the fit them together and how to blend them effectively.
Later, the book provides a plethora of business examples and social revolutions where the new doctrines were implemented. Most examples are presented as a tremendous accomplishments, nevertheless, I was satisfied that some bad strategies were discussed.
We will find a story of twitter and hashtags (# – a type of mark, used in social networks, allowing users to apply dynamic, user-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content). # is described as some kind of torrent which you cannot control. The main benefit of that is that it unlocks people’s abilities to give their testimonies. Before that, what had been happening under the surface couldn’t come forward. People couldn’t see other people around them, who had the same experiences or values. In that part of the book, you can read about the #ArabSpring which, presumably, was the first giant revolution fuelled by social media and hashtags, and #MeToo movement which helped to smash the film empire of Harvey Weinstein.
What I enjoyed most was a contrast between exclusivity and open source in many areas. In business Apple (pedantic control) vs Android (open source platform) and in science – an experiment undertaken by NASA which divided a project into two teams, the first filled with highly educated and experienced NASA employees, and the other containing hobbyists from around the world. It was a great example showing how these team works under more confidential, institutional and managerial structure over more informal and more network governance and full transparency.
New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World–and How to Make It Work for You
by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms
Complexity of ideas